The world’s first well hydropower plant was commissioned in Germany. It produces clean electricity and at the same time protects nature more than conventional hydropower plants. The turbine is hidden in a well in the bed of the river. Fish can migrate downstream through the plant. The new system was developed at the Technical University of Munich.

The turbine is hidden in a well in the bed of the river. The fish are free to pass over the central plant on their downstream migration. The new factory concept was developed at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

A source of renewable energy, hydropower plants can help fight climate change by producing electricity in a clean and sustainable way, but they also pose problems for the environment.

In traditional hydropower plants, water is diverted to a facility where machines are housed to drive the turbine. This current can carry fish to the power plant’s turbine and nets, where they may be injured or killed.

Natural habitats, fish migration routes and shoreline landscapes are damaged. As a result, environmental standards for new factories are virtually impossible to meet in Germany and many other countries.

A team from the TUM Chair in Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources has decided to develop a hydroelectric power station which had a significantly lower impact on the environment.

With this new factory design, no need to divert the course of the river. Instead, a well that houses the turbine and generator is dug in the river bed.

The water flows into the well, drives the turbine, and then is returned to the river. A smaller portion of the water flows over the well and passes through the reservoir.

Engineers managed to control the current so that the power plant could generate electricity efficiently.

If we want to protect the climate and at the same time preserve nature, we must develop technologies capable of skillfully balancing these two objectives. We know that nature is impacted by a hydroelectric power station.

Teacher. Peter Rutschmann.

The plant produces enough electricity for around 800 households and thus contributes to a decentralized power supply.

The shaft power plant is suitable for different sizes of rivers as well as different drop heights. Depending on demand, electricity can be produced from several adjacent wells. Two wells were dug in the Loisach, the fall height is 2.5 meters.

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Photos and more information: www.tum.de